Chronology of Personal Computers

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Last updated: 2022 April 29.


1991

January 9
  • Microsoft releases Microsoft Excel for Windows 3.0, with Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) technology. [123] [1299.421] [1501.12]
January
  • Hewlett-Packard begins shipping systems using 25 MHz 68040 processors. [338]
  • Digitalk introduces the Smalltalk/V for Windows object-oriented programming language. [1049.140]
  • Commodore Business Machines publicly shows the CDTV (Commodore Dynamic Total Vision) package. It features a CD-ROM player integrated with a 7.16 MHz 68000-based Amiga 500. List price is US$1000. [2007.21] [2009.30] [1167] (April [2013.8])
  • Microsoft announces Microsoft Windows for Pen Computing. It will include handwriting-recognition software. [1093.159] [1149.393]
  • Go announces its PenPoint operating system for mobile pen-based computers. [675.197] [1093.159] [1149.393]
  • Apple Computer discontinues the Macintosh Portable. [75] [592.165] [710.138]
  • RDI announces the availability of Macintosh emulation software for SPARC systems. [171.80]
  • A judge rules that Mosaic Software infringed on Lotus Development's copyrights on Lotus 1-2-3. [217]
  • WordPerfect ships WordPerfect 2.0 for the Macintosh. [560.18]
  • Microsoft announces the Windows New Technology operating system. [909.232]
  • Lotus Development abandons plans for Lotus MarketPlace: Households for the Macintosh, and withdraws Lotus MarketPlace: Business. [414.262] [561.69]
  • Compaq Computer reports its first billion dollar quarter. [113]
(month unknown)
  • Cinemaware files for bankruptcy. [1523.32]
  • NuTek Computers announces a chip set and software that could be used to make Macintosh clones. [677.41] [1057.25]
  • NexGen makes the first fabrication of its F86 multi-chip 386 compatible processor. [659.9]
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February 1
  • id Software is incorporated. [2583.176]
February 11
  • Apple Computer announces a revised Portable computer with backlighting. [2605.160]
February
  • Borland International introduces the Borland C++ programming language system for Windows. [1049.139]
  • Cyrix and Texas Instruments sign an agreement licensing Texas Instruments to manufacture and sell Cyrix-designed x86 compatible processors. [1073]
  • The InfoCOMM trade show is held in Orlando, Florida. [640.10]
(month unknown)
  • At the International Solid-State Circuits Conference, Intel demonstrates a 100 MHz 486 processor. [276]
March 1
  • The Federal Trade Commission investigation of Microsoft becomes public knowledge. [1299.419] [1627.5]
March 6
  • In the lawsuit of Apple Computer versus Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard, Federal District Court Judge Vaughn Walker in San Francisco denies Hewlett-Packard's request to declare Apple's copyrights invalid, and also rejects Microsoft's argument that portions of Windows are covered by the 1985 license from Apple. However, the judge agrees to Microsoft's request to consider the copyright issue feature-by-feature, rather than on the basis of overall look and feel. [346.195]
March 8
  • Sierra On-Line and Broderbund Software announce their intention to merge companies. New company name is to be Sierra-Broderbund. [499.14] [1497.58]
March 14
  • A report in the New England Journal of Medicine finds that pregnant women who use VDT workstations are at no greater risk of miscarriage than women who use monitors that do not emit electromagnetic fields. [813.22]
March
  • Borland International introduces the Turbo Pascal for Windows software development package. [1049.140]
  • Berkeley Systems introduces the After Dark screen saver software for Windows. [1049.136]
  • Apple Computer discontinues the Macintosh IIcx. [75] (October 1990 [597.90,95])
  • IBM spins off its entire printer and typewriter division to a New York investment firm. The company Lexmark is born. [121]
  • Apple Computer ships first TrueType fonts for the Macintosh. [416.196] [613.181] [680.165] (May [696.129])
  • Advanced Micro Devices introduces the Am386DX, its first clone chips of Intel's i386DX, at speeds of 20 to 40 MHz. [19] [141] [176.75] [477.127] [540.64] [696.118]
  • Advanced Micro Devices ships the 1-millionth Am386 microprocessor. [141]
  • Microsoft announces the Microsoft BallPoint Mouse, incorporating mouse and trackball technology in a pointing device for laptop computers. [123]
March 18
  • In San Francisco, California, the Software Publisher's Association holds its Spring Symposium, including the Excellence in Software Awards ceremony. Winners include: Lifetime Achievement Award: Steve Wozniak. Best Consumer Program: GeoWorks Ensemble. Best Business Program: Microsoft Windows 3.0. [1498.64]
March 27
  • Sierra Online and Broderbund Software cancel their proposed merger, three weeks after the announcement. [613.53] [1498.62]
(month unknown)
  • Quote from Alex. Brown & Sons analyst, Mark Stahlman: "(Commodore) is likely to be one of the big success stories of the early 1990s." (Three years later, Commodore is liquidated.) [640.10]
April 12
  • Apple Computer's John Sculley demonstrates to IBM engineers an IBM PS/2 Model 70 running Apple's "Pink" object-oriented operating system, appearing to be Apple's System 7.0 operating system. [618.308] [1721.29] [1880.20] [2605.69]
April
  • Computer Associates introduces the ACCPAC Simply Accounting integrated small business accounting software for Windows. [1049.142]
  • Aldus releases the Aldus PageMaker 4.0 desktop publishing software for Windows. Price is US$795. [1049.132]
  • In Finland, Linus Torvalds begins developing a variant of the UNIX operating system. (It will emerge as Linux.) [1035.161] [1106.28] [1184.74] [1451.12] [1615.50] [1648.50] (1990 [1628.25]) (1993 [791.38])
  • Asymetrix releases ToolBook for Windows v1.5, an object-oriented visual development package. Price is US$395. [1049.129]
  • Microsoft releases Microsoft Excel 3.0 for the Macintosh. [706.42]
  • US District Court judge Terry Hatler reinstates Ashton-Tate's dBase copyrights, reversing his December 1990 decision. [26] [548.345] [679.51]
  • Twenty-one companies create the Advanced Computing Environment (ACE) initiative, to establish a new standard for advanced desktop computers, based on RISC processing. Members include Compaq Computer, Microsoft, and Digital Equipment. [113] [172.74] [174.14] [820.14] [1080.195] [1149.404] [1299.428]
  • In the lawsuit of Apple Computer versus Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard, Apple broadens its suit to include Windows 3.0. [346.195]
(month unknown)
  • Quote by Philippe Kahn, chairman of Borland International: "No one wants to work with Microsoft any more. We sure won't. They don't have any friends left.". [1149.380]
  • Quote by Aaron Goldberg, of International Data Corp.: "I don't know if anyone has tried to run Windows on a 286 machine, but frankly I'd rather have knitting needles in my eyes.". [169]
  • Novell releases the NetWare 2.2 network operating system. [682.154]
  • Novell releases the NetWare 3.11 network operating system. [682.154]
May 6
  • Sierra On-Line announces The Sierra Network, a dial-up modem-accessed service for playing computer games with others. [813.106] [1533.86]
May 14
  • NeXT terminates the March 1989 sales agreement with Businessland. [2605.211]
May
  • ZSoft introduces the Publisher's Paintbrush paint program for Windows. [1049.136]
  • Claris introduces the Claris Hollywood 1.0 presentation software for Windows. [1049.145]
  • Aldus introduces the Aldus Persuasion presentation software for Windows. [1049.144]
  • cc:Mail introduces cc:Mail for Windows. [1049.130]
  • The Business Applications Performance Corporation (BAPCo) is founded, to develop sets of benchmarks for testing computer system performance. [738.5]
  • One year after the release of Microsoft Windows 3.0, more than three million copies have been sold. [618.296] [1629.34] (over four million [1299.9])
  • Apple Computer ships its System 7.0 Macintosh operating system, two years after its announcement, for US$100. New features include drag and drop, networking, file sharing, task switching, document linking, and virtual memory. [27] [46] [75] [346.243] [414.230] [416.196] [548.159] [679.13] [750.52] [1205.34] [1295.9] [1648.54] [1880.20] [1886.68] (1990 [176.65])
  • AT&T and NCR sign a merger agreement. [172.58]
  • Intel files a lawsuit in an attempt to stop Cyrix from selling its FasMath math coprocessor chips, claiming that parts manufactured for Cyrix by SGS-Thompson violate an agreement between Intel and SGS-Thompson. [704.23]
  • Lotus Development announces Lotus 1-2-3 for the Macintosh. [414.231]
  • Apple Computer releases the Apple Stylewriter, a modified Canon BubbleJet ink jet printer, using new TrueType font technology. [218] (March [414.230]
  • Apple Computer announces QuickTime software, for integration of dynamic media for Macintosh computers. [46] [140] [1886.68] (June [414.231])
  • Apple Computer begins distributing test versions of QuickTime to software developers. [704.23]
  • Businessland posts a loss of US$43 million, and files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. [170.66]
May 20
  • The Spring Comdex trade show is held in Atlanta, Georgia. [1149.1] [1527.176]
May
  • At the Comdex show, Intel introduces the 20 MHz i486SX microprocessor. The i486SX is like the 486DX, but without the math coprocessor. Price is US$527. Speed is 16.5 MIPS. [26] [177.103] [296] [477.127] [540.64] [62] [879.117] [900] [1522.78]
  • At the Comdex show, Creative Labs introduces the Sound Blaster Pro Deluxe, the first stereo PC sound card. It features 22 sound channels, stereo, CD-ROM interface, and built-in MIDI. Release price expected to be US$299. [221] [1522.78]
  • At the Comdex show, Ad Lib announces the Ad Lib Gold series of PC sound cards. [302.112] [1067.58] [1522.78]
  • At the Comdex show, Microsoft announces the Microsoft Visual BASIC 1.0 visual programming language for Windows. Price is US$199. [123] [1049.139] [606.77] [1522.78] [1559]
June 11
  • On the cruise yacht New Yorker, dubbed the "DOS Boat", in New York City harbor, Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer unveil MS-DOS 5.0. It adds a full-screen editor, undelete and unformat utilities, and task swapping. GW-BASIC is replaced with Qbasic, based on Microsoft's QuickBASIC. (One million copies are sold in six weeks.) [28] [146] [479.128] [748.29] [1149.1] [1299.431] [1583.18] [1627.12] [1897.129]
June
  • 3D Realms releases the Duke Nukem game for MS-DOS-based personal computers with EGA graphics. (The game becomes the best-selling shareware title in 1991 and 1992.) [1491.101]
  • Motorola announces that 33 MHz 68040 processors should be shipping in September. [338]
  • Symantec introduces the Norton Desktop software for Windows. [1049.148]
  • MathSoft introduces the Mathcad mathematics software package for Windows. [1049.140]
  • Digitalk releases the Smalltalk/V 2.0 for Windows object-oriented programming language. Price is US$499.95. [1049.140]
  • Tektronix introduces the Phaser III PXi ink jet printer. It features 300 dpi output, Adobe PostScript Level 2, 4 color solid wax, 24 MHz AMD 2900 RISC processor, HPGL emulation, 10 MB RAM, 39 typefaces. Weight is 90 pounds; price is US$9995. [914.53] [1080.285]
  • Number of personal computers worldwide runnig MS-DOS: 60 million. [1149.2]
  • Market share of personal computer operating systems: Microsoft DOS 75%. [1149.2]
  • Intel introduces the 50 MHz 486 microprocessor. Speed is 41 MIPS. This new 486 employs 0.8-micron technology. [62] [36] [152]
  • Lotus Development wins its spreadsheet copyright lawsuit against Santa Cruz Operations, who is ordered to remove SCO Professional from the market within two months. [548.340]
  • Tandy introduces its low-cost CDR-1000 CD-ROM drive for PCs. At US$400, including drive and controller card, it is about half the price of other CD-ROM drives. [21] (March [527.15])
  • Lotus Development ships Lotus 1-2-3 for Windows. [909.232] (August [1049.147])
(month unknown)
  • The Ami Pro 2.0 word processor is released. [1093.74]
  • Electronic Arts acquires Distinctive Software. [1523.32]
  • Novell purchases Digital Research for US$80 million. [478.3] [698.124] (1992 [219.141])
  • S3 introduces the 911 graphics chip, incorporating GUI acceleration with VGA compatibility. [176.75]
  • Advanced Micro Devices introduces the 16 MHz Am386SX. [1093.216]
  • CD-R (Recordable) drives are introduced for computer use. [849.18]
  • The Pearl Agency in Germany develops the first software vending machine. The machines allow the buyer to view a demo or product description before purchasing the software on a diskette. [544.30]
  • Adobe begins shipping Level 2 PostScript. [582.127]
  • Hayes Microcomputer Products announces LANstep, a network operating system for small offices. [451.A8]
  • Adobe ships Adobe Illustrator 3.0 for the Macintosh. [582.92] [618.226]
  • RasterOps and Truevision announce plans to merge companies. [683.49]
  • Apple Computer releases the A/UX v2.0 operating system. [712.221]
  • Quote by Mike Maples, vice-president of operating systems and applications at Microsoft: "My job is to get a fair share of the software applications market, and to me that's 100 percent.". [1149.401]
  • IBM introduces the IBM PS/2 L40 LX laptop computer. It features full-sized keyboard, 10-inch display, hard drive. Weight is 7.7 pounds. [1312]
  • MicroProse releases the Civilization game for personal computers. [1478.72] (1992 [1206.64])
  • Todd Rundgren completes a music video for the song "Change Myself", created using several Amiga computers. [1865.46]

End of 1991 January-June. Next: 1991 July.

1947-1968 1969-1971 1972-1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981
1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991
1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001
2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008-end


A list of references to all source material is available.

Other web pages of interest:

  • Chronology of Microprocessors
  • Personal Computer References in Pop Culture
  • This Day in Personal Computer and Video Game History

  • Last updated: 2022 April 29.
    Copyright © 1995-2022 (email: ).
    URL: https://pctimeline.info/
    Link to Ken P's home page.